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10 Times John Wayne Followed the Cowboy Code

When it comes to the inner workings of a cowboy, The Duke knows a thing or two. Need proof? Well, look no further! We compiled the top moments that John Wayne encapsulated just what it means to live by the code.

“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.” — John Wayne.

For a tried-and-true cowboy, there’s no glory without honor. It’s one thing to take down the bad guy, but what separates the heroes from the heartless—is the way they go about it. Whether he’s dueling in a saloon or leading a platoon into battle, the characters that John Wayne portrays uphold the cowboy code with every move they make, serving justice while still being able to hold their head up high as they ride off to extinguish whatever subsequent fires may be thrown their way.

Here are our favorites moments when The Duke demonstrated how a cowboy conducts himself, using the cowboy code as not just a creed—but a way of life.

 

10. GIVE YOUR ENEMIES A FIGHTING CHANCE
Jacob McCandles in Big Jake

 

9. HONESTY IS ABSOLUTE
Cole Thornton in El Dorado

 

8. BE TOUGH BUT FAIR
Sgt. John M. Strykersands in Sands of Iwo Jima

 

7. WHEN YOU MAKE A PROMISE, KEEP IT
Robert Marmaduke Sangster Hightower in 3 Godfathers 

 

6. TALK LESS AND SAY MORE
Hondo Lane in Hondo

 

5. NEVER BOTHER ANOTHER MAN’S HORSE
Jacob McCandles in Big Jake

 

4. KNOW WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE
Cole Thornton in El Dorado

 

3. ALWAYS FINISH WHAT YOU START
Col. John Henry Thomas in The Undefeated

 

2. ALWAYS HELP SOMEONE IN NEED
Rooster Cogburn in Rooster Cogburn

 

1. LOOK OUT FOR YOUR OWN
G.W. McLintock in McLintock!